It’s here: Republicans’ latest Obamacare repeal-and-replace proposal dropped last night, as top House conservatives and a prominent moderate try to jump-start the stalled American Health Care Act.
WHAT’S IN REPUBLICANS’ LATEST DEAL — The eight-page amendment to the AHCA, which was hammered out by House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows and Tuesday Group Co-Chair Tom MacArthur and scooped by POLITICO on Tuesday night, would allow states to opt out of Obamacare’s regulations on essential health benefits, community rating requirements and how much older Americans are charged for coverage.
It also would permit states to reject the continuous coverage provision that Republicans have proposed in their replacement bill. See the legislative text.
House Republicans exempted themselves from the proposal, Vox’s Sarah Kliff flagged first.
WHAT STATES WOULD NEED TO DO TO OPT OUT — Frankly, not that much. The amendment says that states would need to propose at least one of the following five to receive a waiver from HHS:
1) Reduce average premiums for coverage
2) Increase enrollment
3) Stabilize the market
4) Stabilize premiums for individuals with pre-existing conditions
5) Increase the choice of health plans
Based on the waiver, states also would have to set up a high-risk pool, presumably to push back on expected criticisms that the GOP plan would harm the sickest patients.
THE PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS — The amendment dismantles major elements of the ACA that Republicans’ previous proposal would’ve kept, which had been a sticking point for wary conservatives. But cutting those protections means that even more Americans stand to lose coverage, which was already a no-go for many moderates.
Notably, the Congressional Budget Office projected last month that Republicans’ bill would result in 24 million fewer Americans having coverage in a decade. That number would likely increase under this amendment, a former CBO analyst told PULSE.
Expect quick reaction on the proposal: Both the Tuesday Group and the Freedom Caucus have meetings with their members today. But ahead of that …